In a call with House Republicans, Speaker Paul Ryan said he would stop defending Trump and focus on protecting the House majority.
After a weekend of controversy for Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan told the House GOP on Monday morning that he is not rescinding his support for Trump:
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) October 10, 2016
Hillary Clinton quickly pointed out Ryan’s decision, without comment:
Ryan is still endorsing Trump. https://t.co/L30EZvUbm0
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 10, 2016
Still, Ryan indicated he would no longer defend Trump and would instead focus on “making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check” in the House:
BREAKING: Speaker Ryan tells House GOP he will focus on ‘making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check’
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) October 10, 2016
Some reporters interpreted Ryan’s comments as conceding defeat in the White House race:
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is all but conceding Hillary Clinton will be the next president.
— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples) October 10, 2016
However, Speaker Ryan’s spokeswoman pushed back on that interpretation. AshLee Strong claimed Ryan “said explicitly on the call he is not conceding”:
Ryan spox @AshLeeStrong: He said explicitly on the call he is not conceding.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 10, 2016
Either way, Donald Trump responded to the reports on Monday afternoon with his characteristic defiance:
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2016
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